Posts for: October, 2017
The American Dental Hygiene Association has designated October as National Dental Hygiene Month. Good dental hygiene is the best weapon against your mouth’s number one enemy: dental plaque.
Plaque, a sticky biofilm that forms on your teeth, is an accumulation of bacteria, other microorganisms, food debris, and other unpleasant components. It can make your teeth feel fuzzy or slimy. And worse, the bacteria in plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
The best way to keep plaque at bay is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. But even though you can remove much of the plaque in your mouth with a toothbrush and dental floss, there are nooks and crannies that are hard to access with these basic oral hygiene tools.
Staying on top of dental plaque is an ongoing challenge. Immediately after teeth are cleaned, plaque starts to form again. And the longer plaque stays on teeth, the thicker it grows. Minerals in saliva become incorporated into the biofilm. As plaque takes on more minerals, it becomes calcified. This is when it hardens into calculus, or tartar. At this stage, tooth-brushing and flossing cannot disrupt the hardened layer of buildup, sometimes visible as yellow or brown deposits around the gum line.
This is why it’s important to schedule regular professional dental cleanings. At the dental office, we have special tools to remove tartar and get at those hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush and floss may have missed. If you have questions about dental hygiene, plaque control or another oral health issue, we are happy to talk with you. We are your partners in fighting plaque for a bright, healthy smile!
Read more about the topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Plaque Disclosing Agents.”
Can one dentist provide everything a growing family needs? Well, Dr. Bernard Pak, family dentist in Kirkland, WA, can. Kirkland Smiles Dental Care seeks to deliver the finest, most comfortable and individualized care possible. To do that, the staff keep themselves well-educated and skilled and also get to know what each family member needs in terms of preventive, restorative and cosmetic services. Whatever you and your loved ones require for optimal oral health and well-being, find it at Kirkland Smiles Dental Care.
Prevention begins early
Trust your child's teeth and gums to Dr. Pak. From toddlerhood on, he provides gentle cleanings and check-ups, watching tooth and jaw development and ensuring teeth are free from dental decay. He understands that the needs of children are distinct from those of their parents and that dentistry must be prompt and kind.
For adults and seniors, Dr. Pak creates a relaxed atmosphere. Watch a movie as you get your check-up which includes:
- Monitoring of gum pockets as indicators of gingival health
- Assessment of bite, alignment and condition of fillings, crowns, and tooth replacements
- Quick and painless oral cancer screening
Dr. Pak reminds everyone that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially where dental health is concerned. He gives his patients pointers on a healthy diet and good brushing and flossing routines, and Dr. Pak offers fluoride treatments and plastic sealants to patients of all ages.
Restoration is a must
Fix a damaged tooth, or lose it. This applies to primary teeth, too. Unfortunately, gum disease and tooth decay lead to tooth loss and even systemic health issues. So when Dr. Pak spots an oral health problem, he offers superior restorative services, including:
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Root canal therapy
- Crowns and bridges
- Dental implants
- Invisalign aligners
When a tooth cannot be saved, count on this dental team to provide comfortable extractions. Dr. Pak also extracts adolescent wisdom teeth when health and comfort require it.
Look your best
Some cosmetic dental issues run in families. Others are acquired through what happens over time or through oral injury. When your family comes to Kirkland Smiles Dental Care, expect that aesthetic needs will be compassionately and realistically addressed.
Desiring a change in tooth color? Older teens through senior adults may be candidates for professionally-supervised teeth whitening. Are gaps, chips and other flaws marring your smile? Ask Dr. Pak about composite resin bonding and porcelain veneers. Your care plan will fit your unique smile.
Don't chase all over town
Bring the family to Kirkland Smiles Dental Care where Dr. Pak and his team will treat you as one of their own. For check-ups and cleanings, or if you have a question, call us at (425) 893-9500.
Your teeth and gums have a highly sensitive network of nerves. But while it can signal even the most subtle discomfort we may not be able to identify the cause with pinpoint accuracy. As a result, tooth pain could indicate more than one kind of problem including a decayed tooth, root sensitivity, infected gum tissues (like an abscess) or a dying pulp signaled by diseased nerve tissue inside the tooth.
On the other hand, not all tooth pain is the same: it can be dull or sharp, continuous or intermittent. It can feel like a constant, throbbing ache or a sharp wince when you eat or drink something cold or hot, or when you bite down. These differences could point our diagnostic examination in the right direction.
For example, sharp, throbbing pain could indicate deep tooth decay, especially if it suddenly stops. That would likely mean the nerves within the tooth pulp under attack by the infection have died and can no longer transmit pain. The infection, on the other hand is still very much active — this usually requires a root canal treatment (cleaning out the pulp and root canals of diseased and dead tissue and filling the empty spaces) if we’re to save the tooth.
If, however, you’re experiencing sensitivity from temperature or pressure, we could be facing at least a couple of scenarios. For one, your tooth could be fractured. More likely, though, periodontal (gum) disease triggered by bacterial plaque has caused the gum tissues to shrink back (recede) from the affected teeth so that the sensitive dentin layer is exposed and no longer protected by the gum tissue.
If we diagnose gum disease, we’ll need to aggressively remove bacterial plaque from all tooth and gum surfaces. This procedure might require more than one appointment and the possibility of surgery if we encounter deep pockets of infection, especially around the roots. If gum recession is severe you may also need grafting surgery to replace the missing gum tissue or to re-cover the exposed areas of your teeth.
So, knowing the source of tooth pain will direct the course of treatment to follow. With proper treatment, though, the chances are good we can not only restore your teeth and gums to optimum health but we can end the pain.
If you would like more information on treating tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Confusing Tooth Pain.”